Examining the voluntary deployment of people without a disability on behalf of people with disabilities: “Verwenzorg” (“LC”) as an example

E.E. Kuis, M. Hermsen, A. van Heijst, M. Timmermann, P.J.C.M. Embregts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In the Netherlands, a transformation is taking place from the traditional welfare state to a civil society with active citizens. The aim of this study is to give an example of citizens’ commitment to their fellow citizens. The phenomenon of Love and tender Care, or LC, (which is known as “Verwenzorg” in Dutch) as a case example was studied. This article examines what motivates volunteers to become actively involved in the lives of others and what results volunteering has for the involved clients. Volunteers (n=10) and clients, their relatives and/or caregivers (n=7) were asked about their motivations and experiences and the perceived benefits and possible negative outcomes of LC. The motivations of and benefits for volunteers appear to be intertwined and involve both altruistic and self-interested aspects. There appears to be a certain reciprocity between giving and receiving, but it is a fragile relationship. Clients experience benefits, but also sometimes have less positive experiences, possibly because of a lack of adaptation to the (individual) client. To enhance and sustain the voluntary deployment of people without a disability on behalf of people with disabilities, organizations should embrace initiatives like LC as a visionary manifestation of the participation society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-66
JournalJournal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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